Calendar template

How to add a predefined custom calendar to Outlook on the desktop

Microsoft makes thousands of custom predefined calendars available for Outlook, but to access them you need to browse a list in Outlook online. We show you how.

Image: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

Keeping track of all of your various activities through the Microsoft 365 Outlook calendar is a good way to keep things organized. However, to get a complete picture of your daily, weekly and monthly schedule, you will need to have access to many calendars: work, personal, school, extracurricular, etc. Adding predefined custom calendars is one way to get all of that planning information loaded into Outlook, but accomplishing this task requires an extra step.

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Outlook Online has had the ability to add custom and predefined calendars for many years, but viewing these calendars in the desktop version of the software is not as straightforward as it should be. In its current iteration, there is no obvious way to add custom preset calendars to Outlook on the desktop. The trick is to add these calendars to the online version of Outlook first and then let the calendars sync with the desktop version.

How to add a predefined calendar to Outlook on the desktop

Microsoft has partnered with many organizations to make their calendars available directly from the online version of Outlook. So, if you need the official school calendar for your kids, it’s probably already available in the list of available calendars. Other desired calendars not listed may be available directly on the organization’s website.

To find custom preset calendars on Microsoft’s list, sign into Outlook Online and navigate to the Calendar tab as shown in Figure A.

Figure A


In the left navigation bar, you will see the Add Calendar link. Click on it to access a list of available custom preset calendars as shown in Number B. You can browse the menu hierarchy to find your calendar or you can use the search box to find it more directly.

Number B


Note that Outlook has a long list of schools to choose from, sorted by area code and associated school district (Figure C). By looking for my postal code, I can find the schedules of the high schools in my area.

Figure C


If you are more interested in following your favorite sports team, Outlook has all the major professional leagues available, as you can see in Number D.

Number D


Once you’ve found your school, team, or TV show, check the box to add the preset calendar to your calendar list as shown in Encrypted. In my case, it was the University of Louisville football schedule.



You can use the settings menu (…) to change the look of your new preset calendar to something more appropriate than the default settings.

Now when you return to Outlook for desktop, you will find your new calendar (s) listed in the left navigation bar as shown in Figure F.

Figure F


Assuming the organization meets its obligations, when the schedule changes, the schedule you subscribed to will also change. Therefore, you should always have the most up-to-date and accurate calendar displayed in Outlook, whether you are viewing it online or on your desktop.

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